As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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by Constable, 11 October 2018. ISBN: 978-1-47212-776-1(PB)
officer Gunna has been given an unusual assignment: she’s to bodyguard Osman, a
visitor from the Middle East who’s been invited to Iceland by their Law and
Order Minister, Steinunn Strand. He’s to be held in a safe house ... but pretty
soon not only the Press but also Osman’s enemies are heading his way.
fast-moving police / political thriller follows four strands, all told in the
third person. There’s Gunna herself, along with her boss, Ivar Laxdal, who are
struggling to make sense of Osman – is he the charitable organiser he presents
himself as, or does his organisation mask something more sinister? Skuli
Snaedal is one of the journalists and editors of Pulse, a hard-hitting investigative news site, who has information
on Osman that will do the Minister’s reputation no good. The mysterious Ana and
her thug sidekicks are out to take Osman alive, if they can.
right at the start, we meet Hanne and Carsten, a retired couple from Denmark
who are forced to bring something to Iceland in their camper van. Dare they
tell the police? You need to keep your wits about you, because the narrative
moves swiftly from one strand to another, with each ‘chunk’ only two to three
pages long. The sympathetic characters draw you in: Gunna’s growing interest in
Osman, and her concern about the family she’s had to leave behind; Skuli’s
continued struggle with the ‘black dog’ and his delight in his new family life;
the elderly Hane and Carsten’s dilemma.
background is Reykjavik as winter moves slowly into spring, and Bates evokes
this beautifully, with vivid descriptions of sea and land. The ending includes
several good twists. This is the seventh Officer Gunhildur mystery, and while
it’s good to meet the series characters again, and see how their lives are
developing, it also reads well as a stand-alone. There are no spoilers for
slick, atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland Noir’s masters.
Quentin Batesis an
English novelist of mystery/crime fiction novels. Quentin found himself working
in Iceland for a year, which turned into a decade, and has used some of that
experience as well as a university writing course to develop his Gunnhildur
series. Although he is British, Quentin is more in line with Scandinavian crime
fiction authors. Quentin is also a full-time journalist and feature writer for
an obscure nautical trade magazine.
Marsali Taylor grew up
near Edinburgh and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is
currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her
husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who
is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive
dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a
keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of
her local drama group.Marsali also does
a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.